Oscar Piastri’s chances of joining the Formula 1 grid in 2022 are remote, and the Australian is facing a year on the side-lines before possibly joining the field in 2023.
Only one seat remains vacant for 2022 at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, but the drive appears to be heading the way of either Antonio Giovinazzi or Guanyu Zhou, leaving Piastri, the current FIA Formula 2 championship leader on the side-lines.
Should he win the title in 2021, he would be unable to continue in Formula 2 in 2022, and this could pose a problem for his career momentum. However, Piastri feels stepping up to reserve driver at the Alpine F1 Team – he is already a part of the Alpine Academy – is the best chance of keeping his name in the limelight with a move into a race seat the aim for 2023.
All teams will need to give young drivers outings in several free practice sessions from 2022 onwards, and Piastri should be in with a chance of showing what he can do behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car should Alpine take up the option of making him their official reserve driver.
“Looking forward, that Alfa seat, I’m not very confident about that,” said Piastri to Motorsport.com. “Realistically, the most logical pathway is to try and be reserve driver for Alpine for next year and put in a lot of hours in the sim and really working with the team to try and get a 2023 seat.
“I’d be okay with spending one year on the sidelines I think. Obviously, it’s still not ideal, but it’s happened to quite a lot of drivers out there. That one I can accept, but if it was looking like more than one year out, then there’d some serious discussions about what I do moving forward.
“The aim would definitely be to try and be reserve driver at Alpine and then target a 2023 season. Given how the cards have been played this year, I think that’s the most realistic target now.”